US-Led Coalition Downsizes Program That Spent $5 Bn to Equip 'Security Partners in Iraq and Syria'
00:49 GMT 04.09.2020
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US will attempt to maintain equipment and other supplies for local fighters battling pockets of remaining fighters of the Daesh* terror group in Syria and Iraq while scaling back aid that totaled more than $5 billion since 2014, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release on Thursday.
"The conditions-based divestments for our security partners in Iraq and Syria gives them a significant edge over Daesh*", CJTF-OIR Commander Pat White said in the release. "Looking ahead, our partners will prioritize sustaining the recently fielded tactical equipment and forecasting requirements for critical supplies to keep the pressure on Daesh* remnants."
From 2014 to 2020, a US program spent more than $5 billion to equip local fighters, much of it on items such as uniforms, body armor, machine guns, and mine-resistant armored vehicles.
Some of the largest investments involved airfield and runway renovations, modular aircraft shelters, infantry training ranges, vehicles, and weapons at Iraq's Camp Taji, recently abandoned by US forces in an exit that left more than $300,000 worth of equipment and improvements in Iraqi hands.
Trump has signaled a desire to withdraw all US forces from Iraq and Syria, but US commanders continue to recommend leaving behind a contingent of soldiers for an advisory role in the battle against remaining Daesh* fighters.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia.
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